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The pay off starts now

The idea of being offered money to go to school sounds like an answer to a prayer, until you realize you have to pay it all back. Going to college can be expensive and while coasting through classes, debt accumulates. The process of paying back government loans is a long one that nobody wants to think about, but it is a process you can get a head start on.

On my journey with financial support, learning how to manage college savings isn’t something I was taught at home. My parents were full-time clergy and when it came time for me to go to college, we had no way of funding it in such a short amount of time.

I only had one option: loans.

Originally, I received an acceptance letter from Wells College in upstate New York. When I took a year off for missions, my parents, out of necessity and obedience to God, moved to a new location: Houston, Texas. Suddenly, my tiny, upstate college was no longer a feasible option. I had to search for a new college to attend­—one closer to home.

While on a trip to see a relative in Arkansas, I searched for a college with my interest of study in mind, and ORU was on the list. As I continued to research, it became clear this was where I belonged. I used to think that applying to scholarships was pointless. Later, I would learn that applying for scholarships is better than applying for loans. Although getting a loan seems quick and easy, in the long run, it may not be. The resources that ORU had to offer provided a way to graduate with financial stability, understanding and encouragement.

The Financial Aid department at ORU suggests that you should start paying off your loans now, or better yet, apply for scholarships rather than loans. The process of paying off your loans starts with the decision to work hard now in building up a savings account rather than waiting until after you graduate.

In that case, according to financial aid, you would pay directly to your servicer. When you are ready to start, go to student accounts with your Z-number, the dollar amount and the specific loan from that current school year that you want to pay off.

If you are a student who has loans, don’t wait to pay off your debt; it will accumulate, especially if it’s unsubsidized or a parent plus loan. The Financial Aid department and student service group are kindhearted, gentle individuals ready to help you navigate your way through college while staying financially afloat. Get started today.